Javier Baez, a highly touted prep shortstop from the state of Florida, had a pre-draft workout with the Brewers yesterday at Miller Park. A source who watched Baez take batting practice told me that the young Puerto Rican native hit almost two dozen home runs during his batting practice session, including 5 to the upper deck.
To put that power display into context, the only two Brewers draftees in recent memory to display that much home run clout during a pre-draft workout were Prince Fielder and Josh Murray. Not all players the Brewers draft are worked out in Milwaukee prior to the draft.
The right-handed hitting Baez is regarded as one of the premier high school hitters available in the draft. He has plus-plus bat speed and well above average raw power potential. Though he plays shortstop now, he is likely to move to third base as a pro as his body fills out. He has also played catcher at the amateur level.
The Brewers have Baez on the shortlist of players they would consider taking with the 12th overall pick, their first pick of next week’s June amateur draft. The team is said to also be heavily interested in fellow Florida prep shortstop Francisco Lindor, and may take him ahead of Baez should both fall to the 12th pick.
The odds of both of them being available with the 12th pick are low, however. It is considered likely that the Arizona Diamondbacks will select one of the two with the 7th overall pick.
There is a remote possibility that the Brewers could draft both Baez and Lindor. If Lindor fell to the 12th pick and Baez were still available, the Brewers would presumably take Lindor. Lindor is a superior defensive shortstop with a good bat. They would then wait to take Baez if he made it to the 15th overall pick, the Brewers’ second pick in the first round.
Also understood to be on the Brewers’ shortlist are a number of college players, including Utah first baseman C.J. Cron, Louisiana State center fielder Mikie Mahtook, Connecticut center fielder George Springer, and Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann.
The Major League Baseball Draft commences next Monday, June 8th.